Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American musician who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist. Although an accomplished pianist, he owes most of his popular musical fame to his soft baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz genres. He was the first black American to host a television variety show and has maintained worldwide popularity over 40 years past his death; he is widely considered one of the most important musical personalities in United States history. "Mona Lisa" is an Academy Award-winning song written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston for the Paramount Pictures film Captain Carey, U.S.A. (1950). The soundtrack version by Nat King Cole spent 8 weeks as number 1 in the Billboard chart in the USA in 1950. Also, Cole's version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1992. The Billboard sales charts of 1950 also showed significant sales on versions by Dennis Day and Harry James. In 1987, it was used as the theme of the British film Mona Lisa. An uncredited version of Mona Lisa plays in the background of one scene in Alfred.